Britain's Raab says GCC summit announcement a 'significant development' for unity

US and EU have also welcomed mediation that led to all six members gathering in Saudi Arabia

epa08920462 A handout photograph made available by the Saudi Royal Court shows Gulf Cooperation Council leaders: (L-R) Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani , Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers' Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, UAE  Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and GCC Secretary General Dr. Nayef Mubarak Al Hajraf, posing for a family picture after attending the 41st GCC ( Gulf Cooperation Council)  Summit at AlUla, some 1040 km East of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 05 January 2021.  According to official Saudi sources, the 41st GCC Summit organized by Saudi Arabia on 05 January, will aim at unifying the path of Gulf countries.  Saudi Arabia agreed on the reopening of its border with Qatar on 04 January evening. Qatar had been imposed with a diplomatic and travel boycott by Saudi Arabia and allies since 2017.  EPA/BANDAR ALAJALOUD/SAUDI ROYAL COURT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab joined his US and EU counterparts on Wednesday in welcoming the Al Ula Declaration and final communique of the six member Gulf Cooperation Council.

"The UK has long encouraged all parties to find a resolution to this dispute. The GCC is our third largest export market outside of the EU and we look forward to continued collaboration with all our friends in the Gulf to strengthen our shared security and prosperity interests," Mr Raab said.

"Yesterday’s GCC Summit announcement is a significant development on the path to restoring Gulf unity. I pay testament to Kuwaiti mediation efforts, and urge the parties to continue building on this positive dialogue."

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, also issued a statement on the meeting, which marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of the organisation's Charter in Abu Dhabi.

"We have long stressed that a truly united Gulf will bring added prosperity through the free flow of goods and services and more security to its people. We welcome the pledge today to restore co-operation in military, economic, health, counter-corruption and cultural initiatives," Mr Pompeo said.

"We hope the Gulf countries will continue to reconcile their differences."

Restoring full diplomatic relations was imperative for all parties in the region to unite against common threats, he said.

"We are stronger when we stand together," Mr Pompeo said.

"The United States thanks Kuwait for its mediation efforts and support in resolving the Gulf dispute."

Meanwhile, Europe's top diplomat also said there was a turning of the corner in the Qatar crisis and that unity could foster progress.

"The European Union welcomes these significant developments as they will considerably strengthen regional stability and restore GCC unity and cooperation in full," officials working for Josef Borrell, the high representative for foreign affairs said.

"We commend in this respect the mediation role played by Kuwait all along, as well as by the US.

"The EU stands ready to support further regional integration within the Gulf Cooperation Council and to strengthen its long-standing partnership with the GCC."